Members of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) support community share their stories, tips and advice on how the recovered from Bipolar.
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Joanie Tourison: In order to take care of my illness daily, I have been very fortunate. I take medication in the night and when I wake up, and I do it daily. Kenneth Rommel Gillard: I went through several medicines and it didn't work and so with the support groups, with my psychologist, I started to work with the kids and working with other adults, which took the focus off of me and it enabled me to look at other people and it built self-esteem, confidence and that's been my healing, that been healing. Ian Poppas: It was the long time before they could work out the medications, I just -- I don't know how I made it, I mean, I was just so depressed, suicide attempts, just horrible, horrible things but somehow that time went by, medication went by, it changed things and I finally got to the point where you wake up one day and you're like, Alright, I'm kind of excited about this day and I can get up, I can do my things, I can see the future and there's some brightness there. Joanie Tourison: I would say to someone who's looking for a support group or looking, "Do I want to be involved or not?" I would ask to them this one question, do they like chocolate? This is better than chocolate and I love chocolate. Ian Poppas: The advice would give for anyone that, who's diagnosed with bipolar illness is to realize that this is basically a life long journey with the illness. And to find and hold on to any support group that you can, because that is going to be vital. Kenneth Rommel Gillard: Talking to other people with the like symptoms, not necessary like mine but so similar that it was very comforting to know that I wasn't out there all alone. There were other people who may not have dealt with what I was dealing with, but they were so near and close that, we could feel each others pulse. The mood swings, the not getting out of the bed, the shades being pulled, a feeling of loneliness, a feeling that no one understood. The support groups have been and are wonderful. Joanie Tourison: I think being part of a support group, is being part of a family and we really miss each other, we take care of each other, Health, help and support is a phrase I have heard recently a lot, and I think we offer that to one another. We have lunches intermittently from meetings. We go out after our meetings just to kind of help make it more social experience. It's not a meeting per se but it's -- they are my family.